This past Sunday, our church held a Harvest Celebration – also known as “Жатва.” It was a time in which we gave thanks to God and His Son Jesus Christ for the abundant grace that is so lavishly bestowed upon us. Жатва is actually one of those traditions in the Russian church that I do not mind at all.
In fact, I wish that it will continue for the next generation. There are a few segments that are usually included within this celebration. First, there is a celebration service in which all the glory goes to God for the abundant provision that we are able to have. Second comes a huge celebratory meal which is not at all uncommon for Russian folks. This year at our church, there was something special in the air during the celebration. I can’t pinpoint one specific factor. It was a collection of items that worked together. The team that put everything together was spectacular as usual. The actual service was great. The worship team did an awesome job as per usual. The meal during the second part of the event was decadence at its finest. Here are ten quick things that really stood out to me from this event:
1. Worshiping together with many people from all different backgrounds, both Slavic and American.
2. Hearing the worship team sing and lead the people of God in the worship of God.
3. Listening to Zhenya Titova share her powerful testimony of how Jesus became her Lord and Savior.
4. Seeing our church triple in attendance albeit only for a Sunday.
5. Eating some authentic плов and various other distinctly Slavic dishes.
6. Watching people mingle, be merry and enjoy the company of one another.
8. Witnessing the incredible hospitality demonstrated by those who put time and effort into making this a pleasurable event for all who attended.
9. Seeing people who come to our church only sometimes stay and help clean up and remain long after the festivities settled down.
10. Watching people hug it out, eat good food, take lots of pictures and enjoy the company of one another for more than four straight hours.